Autism and Behavioral Blog

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The number of children diagnosed with some type of childhood disorder is in the millions. Along with other delays, communication is an area that has a significant impact on children with autism. Because of these deficits some children fail to acquire age appropriate speech skills, some are unable to speak at all and others can manage a few words or develop a 'jargon' of their own that cannot be understood by people around them aside from their immediate family.
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One of the most important skills to teach any child is the ability to protect themselves. There are definitely some scary statistics about how often people with disabilities are taken advantage of or abused. I don't want to dwell on those statistics, instead I want to talk about how we can teach skills that will help people with disabilities keep themselves safe.

©2017 The Shape of Behavior. All Rights Reserved.
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Aggression is a common occurrence in households of children with disabilities. This can be overwhelming for most parents. The purpose of this post is to identify variables that affect aggression, along with basic preventative and response strategies. While these are strategies commonly used in various settings, a descriptive assessment or functional analysis should be conducted by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) to identify the function of aggression. After identifying the function, the BCBA can then assist in identifying individualized antecedent and response strategies, accompanied with functional replacement behaviors to decrease aggression and improve functional skills.

©2017 The Shape of Behavior. All Rights Reserved.
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Distractions with the iPad? Try Guided Access

Posted by on in Parent Tips
The introduction of the iPad has made it increasingly easy to have a portable way for individuals with limited communication or no functional communication to interact with others. A lack of functional communication skills can lead to increased problem behavior, decrease in access to reinforcement or enriched environments and limited potential interactions with the people in their world.
©2015 Shape of Behavior. All Rights Reserved.
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As a BCBA, I've found that there are some pretty common questions I'm asked—my own personal FAQ, if you will. From the general public, I mostly get confusion, to wit: "So what does a BCBG do?" or "Autism, that's the one where they have super powers, right?"

©2014 Shape of Behavior. All Rights Reserved.
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Technology marches on... We live in a world where technology impacts nearly every aspect of our daily life, and that statement is very apparent among the population of people with special needs. From video modeling and internet-based curriculum to data collection and reinforcement, the individuals we serve are exposed to technology more so than ever.

©2014 Shape of Behavior. All Rights Reserved.
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The latest statistics are staggering. 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism in the United States. This does not include all the millions of children diagnosed with intellectual disability, Down syndrome or another type of developmental delay.

©2014 Shape of Behavior. All Rights Reserved.
Tagged in: parent tips siblings
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In light of World Autism Awareness Day, I've been thinking about conversations I've had with parents over the years concerning public outings. This can include a "simple" trip to the grocery store all the way to a day trip to the zoo for the family or even Disney World! Some are required tasks and others are just fun family time that we all enjoy sometimes.

©2014 Shape of Behavior. All Rights Reserved.
Tagged in: ABA aba therapy Autism
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Many times parents are eager to place their child in a school environment after their child has gained many skills with intense ABA training, however, these considerations are often without thought given the environmental supports currently in place that contribute to the growth and success of the child. Here are some practical tips for deciding if your child will learn optimally in a school setting.
©2014 Shape of Behavior. All Rights Reserved.
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The newly updated version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5), sometimes referred to as "the bible of psychiatry," is flawed and inaccurate.

©2013 Shape of Behavior. All Rights Reserved.
Tagged in: Autism DSM-5
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Transition Time: How to minimize meltdowns

Posted by on in Autism
It is no secret that individuals with autism generally prefer to have a routine. It provides a sense of comfort and control because they know what comes next. Whether it is a transition from day treatment to school or introducing a new activity, a change in routine or transition to a different activity or place can be challenging, but thank goodness there are ways to make things go more smoothly and minimize meltdowns.
©2013 Shape of Behavior. All Rights Reserved.
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What is Fragile X Syndrome?

Posted by on in Behavior Disorders
July is Fragile X awareness month, and here at The Shape we are doing our part to raise awareness and provide help to those who have this diagnosis.
©2013 Shape of Behavior. All Rights Reserved.
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Echoic Behavior

Posted by on in Autism

According to Skinner, an echoic occurs when a verbal response has point-to-point correspondence to its preceding verbal stimulus. It is echoing what is heard or verbal imitation.

©Copyright 2013 by The Shape of Behavior | All Rights Reserved
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A large amount of children with developmental delays are reported to have difficulties with eating. However, these difficulties are hardly limited to children on the spectrum. According to a recent child and infant nutrition study, the vegetable of choice for most toddlers is a potato, specifically in the form of a French fry.

©Copyright 2013 by The Shape of Behavior | All Rights Reserved
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What is Autism Day Treatment?

Posted by on in Autism

I think it's safe to say that every parent wants what is best for their child especially when it comes to obtaining necessary treatment for a special needs child. Children of all ages can benefit greatly from the structured learning environment that day treatment provides.

©Copyright 2013 by The Shape of Behavior | All Rights Reserved
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All parents reach a point in time where they are sooo ready to ditch the diapers! This will come at different ages for every family. Whether you've reached this point or not, here are some tips for how to proceed.

Tagged in: parent tips practice
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Why Verbal Behavior?

Posted by on in Behavior Disorders

Theories of language that attempt to identify the causes of language include the following three perspectives: (1) biological, (2) cognitive, and (3) environmental.

© Copyright 2013 by The Shape of Behavior | All Rights Reserved
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Is my child ready for school?

Posted by on in Parent Tips

No...... well not yet. As parents we all want our children in school in a mainstream class learning alongside their peers. While this is the ultimate goal there are many steps that are necessary to reach this goal.

© Copyright 2013 by The Shape of Behavior | All Rights Reserved
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Behavior analysis is a scientific approach to studying and changing behavior. Data collection is the foundation of science.

© Copyright 2013 by The Shape of Behavior | All Rights Reserved
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The Impact of Social Skills on Everyday Life

Posted by on in Autism

Social skills are an essential part of life even beyond the obvious implication that with good social skills a person can form meaningful relationships.

© Copyright 2012 by The Shape of Behavior | All Rights Reserved
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